Friday, August 13, 2010
The awful truth about baby carrots.
Okay, it's not awful, but that seemed like a catchy title. Some others might be "Baby carrots, not Babies at all." and "Baby carrots, used to be cattle feed."
Have you ever grown a carrot? If so you've probably noticed that the single, long tapering root is not the only, or even the primary form that carrots favor. At least as likely, sometimes more depending on the density of your soil, is the "octopus" carrot as Ragnarson calls them. And yet, when purchasing carrots in the store the octopus carrots are nowhere to be seen.
Except that they are: whittled down into little baby carrots. I imagine some sort of carrot whittling machine in the carrot bagging factory somewhere, where the monster carrots, the misshapen mutant carrots are dumped into a big hopper and then (grind, clang, clash) out the other end come scrubbed, peeled an appropriately whittled down baby carrots. And over all I think this is probably a good thing. I think that carrot consumption has risen considerably since the advent of the baby carrot. They're so CUTE after all, those little rounded nubby things, and so convenient for snacking and (I suppose) cooking (although the taste degrades significantly in the whittling process, I think). No washing, no peeling. And before there was a baby carrot whittling machine, those mutant carrots were bound for the carrot scrap heaped to be juiced, or mixed in with animal feed, or (gasp) trashed. So hurray for baby carrots.
But can I just say, that as a mother who struggles to get her son to eat anything remotely vegetative, that I can definitely see a market for "monster" carrots. My truck crashing, gun-out-of-toast-making, little-brother-walloping manchild is much more excited about eating something that looks like it might be related to the creature from the black lagoon than he is about eating a neatly whittled, domesticated "Baby."
So lucky for him there's a lot of clay in our garden soil, and mutant carrots abound.
Ragnar...mother of monsters.